On Saturday, December 10, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., one of the Festival Town’s longer-running festivals, Frozendale, returns to Rosendale’s Main Street business district. Most of the family-friendly annual event’s offerings are free, including a live performance with masks and giant puppets at the Redwing Blackbird Theater and a screening of the classic 1971 Gene Wilder version of Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory at the Rosendale Theatre. There are gift sales, giveaways, snacks, hot drinks, a visit from Santa and buskers all over town, and the day wraps up with a Mac & Cheese Cook-Off at the Big Cheese.
Originally a weekend-long extravaganza dubbed Frozendale Daze, the festival started by the Rosendale Chamber of Commerce (sometime around 2004 or 2005), but morphed into a more community-based event a few years later when massage therapist and Rosendale resident Jesse Scherer took the reins, rather than let it lapse.
“I joined her in 2015, offering my marketing skills, implementing a business sponsored tote bag and purchasing lawn signs to advertise the date, along with a shared spreadsheet that holds all the information from year to year,” recalls Rosendale photographer Laurie Giardano. “This year Jesse and I wanted to pursue other projects and hand Frozendale over to someone else….”
“Kimberly Burger of Paws & Tail Pantry jumped at the chance to get involved in this year’s Frozendale, as did Fre Atlast of the TRANSnDANCEnDRUM shop and founder of non-profit Elders Drum Project. However, I found it difficult to just walk away without explaining all the systems we had in place, and before I knew it I was still designing the flyer, tote bag, wrote the press release and taught Kim everything she needed to know about keeping the spreadsheets up-to-date,” Giardano adds.
“Kim did some amazing community outreach and came back with the day’s schedule and an even bigger list of tote bag sponsors. Fre organized the music and entertainment for the day, and offered to pay for some expenses as an Elders Drum Project sponsor. The Rosendale Theatre is covering all of our Santa Claus expenses, as well as providing a free screening of Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with the help of a grant from Ulster Savings.”
The day’s many events kick off with a holiday storytime at the Rosendale Library and a free yoga class at Yoga Yoga, both at 10 a.m. The Library will also be hosting a Holiday Booktique from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and a Lighting Ceremony around 4 p.m. Also opening at 10 a.m., and running all day, is a digital Frozendale portrait giveaway at the Carl Cox Photography Studio.
Willie Wonka starts at 11 a.m. When it’s over, families might want to head over to the Redwing Blackbird Puppet Theater to volunteer and get fitted for a costume to participate in The Animals in Winter, the show that Amy Trompetter and crew will be presenting at 3 p.m. The open rehearsal starts at 2 p.m. Contact email@example.com for more info.
Between noon and 3 p.m., musicians will be performing on porches and roving about the town. RosenSpace, the former site of the Creative Co-op behind the Big Cheese, will host a variety of craft vendors in a Winter Gift Sale from noon to 6 p.m. At 3:45 p.m. the Rosendale Improvement Association Brass Band and Social Club will lead a parade from TRANSnDANCEnDRUM to the lighting ceremony at the Rosendale Library.
The Big Cheese Mac & Cheese Cook-Off gets underway at 5 p.m.; contestants must drop their entries off between 4:30 and 4:50 p.m. Visit www.facebook.com/events/666179683541332 for details on how to enter. Last year’s top competitor, Devon Dawes, was 10 years old! And when it’s all over, attendees get to devour all the entries.
For the full schedule of Frozendale 2016 activities, visit www.facebook.com/events/213855932383592.